Roaming Around Melbourne
I visited Australia and Melbourne many times in the last almost 10 years, but I spent so many days in Melbourne during my first visit. This city is one of my favourite cities I have ever visited. Since my first visit, I have been there so many times and tried to uncover more layers of the city on each visit. The reasons behind my all visits were mixed. Visiting campuses of a few colleges and universities was also one reason as I have my profession related to it. But as a whole, I spent my days as long vacations as I visited almost every known place around Melbourne. Every time, I felt Melbourne was one of the best places to be.
During my first visit, Ashburton on warrigal road was an area of my stay. It was very near to Homes glen metro station. I used this station so many times while roaming around Melbourne. Having 16 everyday train lines starting from Flinders street station, this metro service passing through 211 stations is like the lifelines of Melbourne. Flinders Street Station is the central railway station situated on the corner of Swanston and Queens Street. Flinders Street is also known as the heart of Melbourne. The most important icon here is the building of a station built inbuilt and started in 1854, and most importantly, it was the first train station in any Australian city. Yarra River is also passing near Flinders station.
‘I will meet you under the clock’ is a famous idiom in Melbourne, which refers to clocks fixed on the main entrance of Flinders’ street station. Because of being in the city's central place, people use this place as a meeting point. I can assure, you will never get bored being at Flinders street, Swanston, and Elizabeth, Collins, or Queens street. I used to be there very frequently.
Another important place touching to Flinders’ station is Federation square. Its meeting place as well centre of various cultural and other activities. It is open 24 hours and 365 days of the year. Fed Square Pty Ltd, a company fully owned by the state government of Victoria, is committed to representing Melbourne's multiculturalism via the array of festivals throughout the year and acknowledging the National Days of countries across the globe.
From the day first I planned to visit some important places. Melbourne’s Aquarium, Parliament House, Eureka sky deck, and Crown Casino were on the top of my list of places. All these are located in the central city within walking distance from each other. Melbourne Aquarium is located on the Yarra River. It is the world's only Southern Ocean aquarium, housing a Great Barrier Reef exhibit, Giant Southern Crabs, Japanese spider crabs, clownfish, jellyfish galore, sea turtles, and Grey nurse sharks. Walk along the glass tunnel and watch the underwater world swim around you! Watching the sharks around you is really amazing experience. This is the best Aquarium I have seen. You feel like walking through Ocean, looking at sea life. It’s a wonderful place to spend your day. No wonder if I say that no trip to Melbourne is complete without visiting Melbourne Aquarium.
Another beautiful place within walking distance of Flinders street station is the National War Memorial of Victoria, popularly known as the Shrine of Remembrance. As Australia’s largest war memorial, it is another landmark of Melbourne. Opened in 1934, the Shrine is dedicated to those served during different wars for the country. It is the annual ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day, which commemorate the sacrifices made by the countrymen for the country. The upper balcony of the Shrine offers a beautiful view of the surrounding area and the skyline of Melbourne. In brief, it is a must-visit while you are in Melbourne.
One of the best things to do in Melbourne is just being outside, with some fantastic weather. In June July, there are so many great places to go and enjoy it. Going city with or without any work, roaming in shopping malls, sitting on the banks of Yarra River, Tasting Chinese, Italian, Indonesian and Indian foods, walking on the sand and water of different beaches can be your regular activities. Williams’s town and St Kilda beaches were my favourite beaches during my stay in Melbourne.
Regional escapes are full of more wonderful things than city life. If you wish to breathe more fresh air, you can plan a long trip to any destination like Mt Buller, Phillip Island, Great Ocean Road, Dandenong Hill Ranges, Sovereign Hill gold mines at Ballarat, or Grampian National Park.
- Puffing Billy... A Bond between Past and Present
Puffing Billys steam rail is one of those things of past that are worth being preserved forever. I visited this dreamland during my visit to Melbourne in June, 2010. It was really a wonderful and memorable experience.
One day we planned to visit Ballarat and Sovereign Hills gold mines. Sovereign Hill is 110 Km from northwest of Melbourne. We were five people, including me. It was a cloudy day with drizzling at short intervals. Way to Ballarat from Melbourne passes through beautiful landscapes and breathtaking sceneries. Wines, yards and green hilly slopes create a soothing effect on you. At Ballarat, you will get the re-created environment of 1850s gold mining. Gold was discovered in Ballarat in August 1851. Even now, you can try your luck and pan for gold in water and sand flowing there. You can wander through colonial buildings and feel the atmosphere of a bygone era.
This article was initially written in 2010, so dates belong to that year.
.....continue in Roaming Around Melbourne II
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 Jaspal Singh